The American Airlines Center continues to be a friendly place for the Dallas Stars. Coming off a rough three-game road trip, the Stars needed some success at home, and they got it with a 6-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
It was a big bounce-back win for the Stars who went 0-2-1 on the trip that ended with a 6-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
[WATCH: Full Stars-Oilers highlights]
"It's huge." said Stars forward Tyler Pitlick. "It was a good team effort all around, I think everyone is going and contributing, and we have some five-on-five goals, which we've been struggling with lately, so that was big."
But the Stars did need an injection of energy in Saturday afternoon's game. They got off to a sluggish start by surrendering the first six shots of the game, so coach Ken Hitchcock moved Antoine Roussel up to the top line with Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov and Roussel responded with a big night, tallying one goal and two assists.
"I looked at our body language in our fourth game in six nights, and I just felt that I had to give us every chance to win the hockey game. I didn't like our energy at the start; we looked tired and lethargic," Hitchcock said.
Video: EDM@DAL: Roussel scores from behind the net
Roussel scored on his first shift with Benn and Radulov to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. And then he assisted on a Radulov on the next shift to put the Stars up 2-0.
"It was fun. I got the chance to play with two great players," Roussel said. "And just play a simple game and sometimes you get good things happening with that."
Devin Shore, Radek Faksa, Benn, and Jason Spezza also scored goals, and a total of 12 Dallas players recorded points in the game as the Stars improved to 10-9-1 on the season and 7-2-0 at home.
Kari Lehtonen started in goal and was pulled early in the second period after allowing three goals on 12 shots. Ben Bishop played the rest of the way and stopped all 18 shots he faced as the Stars rallied from a 3-2 deficit to win the game.
"This had nothing to do with Kari," Hitchcock said about the change which came after the Stars had allowed three straight goals. "We needed a big-time wake-up call. We were falling into the abyss again."
Video: EDM@DAL: Radulov rips wrist shot past Talbot
Connor McDavid had one goal and two assists and Drake Caggiula scored two goals for the Oilers, who lost for the fourth time in five games (1-3-1) and fell to 7-11-2 on the season.
"They stuck with it a little bit longer than we did, scored some ugly goals, but those all count. As a result, we're on the losing end," said Oilers coach Todd McLellan.
The Oilers got the first six shots of the game, including a shorthanded breakaway chance by Zack Kassian, but the Stars scored on their first two shots to take an early 2-0 lead. Roussel raced into the offensive zone after the puck and then banked it into the net off Talbot from the goal line to put the Stars up 1-0 at the 6:36 mark.
"I just tried to go wide, and the goalie started moving, so I took a little bit of a chance there," Roussel said.
A little more than two minutes later, Roussel rushed into the Edmonton zone, dropped off the puck to Radulov who scored from the slot to push the lead to 2-0 at the 8:57 mark.
Video: EDM@DAL: Shore one-times Seguin's pass for tying goal
But the Oilers pushed back later in the period to tie the game. With the Stars on their third power play of the period, the Oilers scored shorthanded to cut the lead to 2-1. McDavid set up Caggiula on a two-on-one and Caggiula scored shorthanded from close range at the 16:54 mark. Less than a minute later, the Oilers tied it by cashing in on their first power play of the game. After Jamie Oleksiak blocked a McDavid shot at the open net from the right circle, McDavid got the rebound and scored before Lehtonen could get back into position. It was now a 2-2 game at the 17:46 mark.
The Oilers took a 3-2 lead 42 seconds into the second period when Caggiula scored on a rebound. That ended the night for Lehtonen who was replaced by Bishop.
The Stars tied the game 3-3 at 7:57 of the second when Tyler Seguin set up Shore whose shot from the slot deflected into the net off traffic. It was the first goal of the season for Shore.
"Felt really good. It's always fun to score. It's fun to help your team, and that game had a lot of emotion to it," Shore said. "[My goal] tied it up - it's a good feeling. You're able to enjoy it more after because we won. The boys played great tonight, and it was great to be a part of it."
The Stars took a 4-3 lead with 1:20 left in the second when Tyler Pitlick made a slick spinning pass to Faksa on the rush and Faksa beat Talbot from close range to put the Stars up 4-3.
The Oilers when on their third power play seven minutes into the third and Bishop came up with a big stop on Leon Draisaitl to keep the Stars up a goal.
The Stars extended the lead to 5-3 when Hamhuis put a shot on net that deflected on traffic and Benn put the rebound in at the 13:30 mark. The Stars made it 6-3 when Spezza scored on the power play with 1:48 remaining.
Video: EDM@DAL: Faksa collects pass off skate, beats Talbot
The Stars have won seven of their past eight games at home.
The six goals scored were a season-high for the Stars.
The Stars scored two third-period goals, ending an eight-game stretch where they had not scored in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
The Oilers outshot the Stars 30-21. The Oilers had a 57-51 advantage in shot attempts.
Jason Spezza led the Stars with six shot attempts.
The Stars were 1-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Stars won 33 of 61 faceoffs (54 percent). Jamie Benn won 11 of 17 (65 percent). Martin Hanzal won 6 of 7 (86 percent). Tyler Seguin won 6 of 15 (40 percent).
Esa Lindell led the Stars in ice time with 22:20. Alexander Radulov was tops among forwards with 21:33.
There were two fights in the game. Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn vs. Oilers forward Milan Lucic; and Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak vs. Oilers forward Patrick Maroon.
Video: Stars grind out important win against Oilers
The Stars take on the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday at American Airlines Center. This will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Former Stars Jordie Benn, Ales Hemsky, and Antti Niemi are on the Montreal roster. Hemsky has been out the past month due to a concussion. The Canadiens recently claimed Niemi off waivers from Florida. Montreal is Niemi's third team this season.
Video: Roussel on gritty win against Oilers
Mattias Janmark - Jamie Benn - Alexander Radulov
Devin Shore - Tyler Seguin - Brett Ritchie
Antoine Roussel - Martin Hanzal - Jason Spezza
Remi Elie - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Greg Pateryn
Jamie Oleksiak - Stephen Johns
Scratched: Gemel Smith
Injured: Marc Methot (lower body)
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.